Traffic Congestion Prompts One-Way West Street Route Switch

Drivers initially ignored change

By Michael Turton

West Street is now one way from North Street to New Street. The street is not closed however — although this sign indicates that it is.

West Street is now one way from North Street to New Street. The street is not closed however — although this sign indicates that it is.

The entire length of West Street on Cold Spring’s riverfront is now one way, running north to south. The Village Board recently made the change in response to concerns over traffic congestion and safety. Previously, drivers going north on the street had to make a difficult U-turn as they approached the entrance to Dockside Park. A right turn onto North Street was prohibited because it is one way, running toward the river. Traffic in the area was chaotic and dangerous at times during summer months, especially when Moo Moo’s Creamery was busy.

John Dunn, a resident who lives within a block of West Street, welcomes the switch to one-way traffic. “The change makes good sense and has been needed for some time,” he said.

Dunn thinks there are flaws in the transition however, particularly signage. “The initial (new) signage was poor — (drivers) were paying no attention and continuing to head north on that stretch of West Street,” Dunn said. He said that a portable “Do Not Enter” sign placed at the corner of West Street at Main Street indicates that the north end of West Street is closed — which is not the case.

Dunn has suggestions that he thinks will improve the situation, including placing a one-way sign on West Street at Main Street, so that drivers coming down Main toward the bandstand can see that West is now entirely one way — and that right turns are no longer permitted. “And some other signage needs to be considered, so that traffic flows down Fish Street to North Street and then, southbound, onto West Street,” Dunn said.

He also encouraged village officials to communicate the recent change to residents. “Folks are so accustomed to (West Street being) the one remaining two-way stretch down on the waterfront that it is going to take some time for people to wrap their heads around it.”

Photo by M. Turton

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